Press Release

American Federation of Teachers Michigan Affiliate Back in Court with Project Veritas

For Release: 

Friday, May 4, 2018

Contact:

Oriana Korin
202-374-6103
Oriana.Korin@aft.org

WASHINGTON—AFT Michigan filed a motion in court today to stop right-wing attack group Project Veritas from its continued attempts to trespass on, illegally record, and smear educators and their unions.  

The motion was filed after Project Veritas announced this week its intention to publish material that it had obtained unlawfully. As part of AFT Michigan’s request for injunctive relief, the union asks that the court engage in an in camera review of the tapes and documents, and prohibit the distribution of information obtained illegally.

The motion asks the court to further prevent Project Veritas from unlawful eavesdropping, recorded misrepresentations, infiltrations, theft of documents, and splicing and dicing of unlawfully obtained material designed to destroy the reputations of AFT Michigan members.

According to AFT President Randi Weingarten, “Project Veritas doesn’t like that the public loves teachers and public education, so it has embarked on a new campaign to smear teachers and the unions that represent them. Let’s be clear: We have a duty to protect the safety of our students and our teachers.

“When Project Veritas previously released an incendiary video alleging the failure of our local in Yonkers, N.Y., to protect kids, we immediately commenced an investigation but, of course, Project Veritas would not cooperate or provide us with the full footage. They are notorious for this behavior: They just want a headline, and they are motivated by an ideology of hating unions—not helping kids or solving problems.

“As Project Veritas continues to refuse to cooperate with our reputable, outside organizations and attorneys, we will continue to fight back against these outrageous, doctored videos. That includes legal action. We will continue to defend our schools, our kids and our teachers from these attacks.”

David Hecker, president of AFT Michigan and an AFT vice president, went on to say: “As Project Veritas continues its assaults on Michigan’s teachers, we will continue to make sure the people who educate our students are treated with respect for the work they do in the classroom every day. Project Veritas’ politically motivated attacks do nothing to contribute to the conversation about good public schools in Michigan and do nothing to educate our kids.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.